All animals have a minimum space requirement,
without which survival is impossible.
Bubbles overlap, social animals
need to stay in touch, it varies species to species.
The critical distance is so precise
it can be measured in centimetres.
The English have characteristically demonstrated
that they are not afraid to plan.
In the spring, each male stickleback
carries out a circular territory.
Social distance in man has been extended
by telephone, TV and the walkie-talkie.
In the cold waters of the North sea
lives a form of crab, Hyas Araneus.
At certain times in the life cycle,
the individual becomes vulnerable to others.
Do we grasp because we have hands
or do we have hands because we grasp?
Crabs are solitary crustaceans –
This is 1966. Look at the advantages
held by those that have a territory, a space
of their own. Look at the advantages.
by Hannah Silva
Notes from Penned in the Margins:
‘Hyas Araneus’ is from Forms of Protest, the debut collection from Hannah Silva. Previously a performance-based poet and a theatre writer, this is the first time Silva has translated her highly experimental work for the page. These poems and experimental texts oscillate between sense and nonsense, meaning and music, always testing the limits of language to represent the lived world.
Hannah Silva’s performance piece Total Man has recently been nominated for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and you can read more about Hannah Silva’s work from the Penned in the Margins site. There you can also hear Silva discuss the relationship between poetry and performance with Penned’s director, Tom Chivers. You can read Hannah Silva’s thoughts on her blog, and follow her on Twitter.
Penned in the Margins is an independent publisher and live literature producer specialising in poetry and based in East London. Founded in 2004, the company has produced numerous literature and performance events, toured several successful live literature shows, published over twenty-five books, and continues to run innovative poetry, arts and performance projects in the capital and beyond.
Their recent anthology, Adventures in Form, was awarded a Special Commendation by the Poetry Book Society and was chosen as one of 50 Best Summer Reads by The Independent. You can visit the Penned in the Margins website here to sign up to the mailing list, and follow the publisher on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.